Parenting & Family

First time expecting parents - what to prepare?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 28th, 2017 5:01 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 13, 2017
22 posts
2 upvotes

First time expecting parents - what to prepare?

So many options, so many things to do ... I would appreciate tips / list of things I need to prepare for ahead of time for the baby, so far I have things like:
  • day care wait list
  • stroller / baby car seat - must have from day 0
Things like baby gate etc could wait until the baby move around, anything else I should prepare way ahead of time for?
54 replies
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
14100 posts
4573 upvotes
Must haves:
- Clothes for them to wear home. We like to have our clothing washed before it is used, so make sure you have a couple days worth of clothes ready to go (and blankets, etc. all washed).
- Transportation home - car seat, blankets, etc. If it is winter you might want the car seat cover too.
- What do you plan to do for feeding? If it involves a bottle, have the bottle/nipple/etc. sanitized ahead of time (or buy ones that do not need to be sanitized)
- What do you plan to do for changing? Cloth or disposable? Wipes? Vaseline (or something else for diaper rash)? Change table? Little cloths so the boy doesn't pee on you (I assume girls don't have this problem)?
- Where are they going to sleep? Bassinet? Your bed? Make sure that's ready.
- Where will you put them down during the day for short naps? The same place they sleep? Or one of those rocker chairs?
- How do you plan to bathe them? Baby bath tub, kitchen sink, etc.? And what to bathe them with (soap, shampoo, body wash, etc.)? And what to use after (moisturizer)?
- Meals for you and your partner. Do you have dishes you could freeze and just reheat? Remember you need to stay fed to and the easiest way to do that is have good healthy meals that are easy to make (such as frozen already cooked meals)
- Smaller clothes for spit-up, general cleanup of baby, etc. Looking back the store bought ones were pretty crappy and I think I would just buy microfibre next time.

Nice to have:
- I really love this list and always post it. Watch for these toys to come on sale (it tells you at what age it's appropriate). You will find they often come on sale so you can just pick them up ahead of time so they can be cleaned and ready to go: http://mamaot.com/15-toys-for-babys-first-year/


We had ours a month early and had nothing prepared (just bought the car seat the weekend before because it was on sale - if it wasn't on sale that weekend we wouldn't have had it). It is amazing how little you need other than food and your love. At the end of the day, make sure they can eat, sleep and poop while being kept clean. Otherwise everything else can wait. We were beyond tired so little things like people bringing us food worked nice because, naturally, we felt like just sleeping in between taking care of the little one.

Congrats! And I hope someone else can fill in things I missed as I am sure I overlooked quite a bit.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
9555 posts
1241 upvotes
Toronto
Have any friends who've been through it? Ask them candidly and to not sugar coat anything.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 13, 2017
22 posts
2 upvotes
TrevorK wrote:
Jan 20th, 2017 1:45 pm
We had ours a month early and had nothing prepared (just bought the car seat the weekend before because it was on sale - if it wasn't on sale that weekend we wouldn't have had it). It is amazing how little you need other than food and your love.
Thanks for the extensive list, it's quite overwhelming to figure out the amount of things you need to know / do.

Where would be a good place to look at strollers? Amazon? TRU? Walmart?
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2015
974 posts
364 upvotes
One hint I give all new parents is think about preparing meals ahead of time. My first was so challenging, that I would have no more than 45 minutes periods where she would sleep, oerwise I was feeding, changing, or with the baby. I remember not having time to buy groceries, little less cook, and even finding time to eat was hard.

I got smart and made a whole bunch of freezer meals ahead of time. Bonus is they can go in the slow cooker so you don't even have to be awake to watch the stove.

Anything that can save you a little especially in the beginning months are a life saver, this could be freezer meals, prepared meals, or a stocked pantry, Cleaning service, etc.

Time and sleep was all I wanted in the first 4 months.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
14100 posts
4573 upvotes
Gibbscr wrote:
Jan 20th, 2017 3:57 pm
Thanks for the extensive list, it's quite overwhelming to figure out the amount of things you need to know / do.

Where would be a good place to look at strollers? Amazon? TRU? Walmart?
The best place to LOOK at strollers is one with a huge selection. In my city, that's Toys R Us. Walmart has some, but most are towards the lower end of the price point so you cannot test whether the more expensive one feel "better" for you. Instead, a place like Toys R Us has strollers at a large variety of price points. You might say "Gee this Peg Perago is awesome and I can see why you pay more" or you might say "this Summer Infant is good enough for me".

Once you find the stroller you want, then you can look at the best place to buy it. But I really recommend going somewhere with a large selection at a variety of price points to test them out.
Sr. Member
Sep 3, 2013
660 posts
109 upvotes
Toronto
Gibbscr wrote:
Jan 20th, 2017 3:57 pm
Thanks for the extensive list, it's quite overwhelming to figure out the amount of things you need to know / do.

Where would be a good place to look at strollers? Amazon? TRU? Walmart?
Go to buybuybaby. They have the most selection.
Sr. Member
May 12, 2014
873 posts
349 upvotes
Montreal
Macx2mommy wrote:
Jan 20th, 2017 8:50 pm
Time and sleep was all I wanted in the first 4 months.
I'll second that.

For your first baby, I also recommend that you set up a Google Doc spreadsheet shared with your husband as a To Do checklist.

Besides the above, you can add:
- Get a video baby monitor
- Get two copies of any official documents in your province (eg: Birth certificate)
- Apply for a SIN right after birth
- Open a RESP and contribute ASAP to get the grants
- Apply for a passport (if you ever plan to travel -- kids fly free until 2!)
- Sign up for Amazon family (20% off diapers, delivered free!)
- Start looking at daycares now. If you're in Quebec and you want those $7/day spots, apply immediately to get on the waiting list (right after a positive pregnancy test) do not wait for the birth. Waiting list can be ~2 years.
- Find a pediatrician / plan where your baby will get his vaccines

Don't forget to plan your drive to the hospital in advance: where will you park? Is parking allowed there at (say) 3am? How bad is traffic going to the hospital at 7am?

Prepare a "go bag": A backpack that you can grab when going to the hospital with: your medical file, change of clothes & underwear for you and the husband, a charged USB battery, camera for those first pics, snacks & water for both of you.

If you're really careful, prepare a towel to sit on during your drive to the hospital in case your water breaks while on route.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
15965 posts
1856 upvotes
Gibbscr wrote:
Jan 20th, 2017 3:57 pm
Where would be a good place to look at strollers? Amazon? TRU? Walmart?
Somewhere you can try them out - your local baby stores. You may or not not ultimately buy there because of price of course :)
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
15786 posts
4688 upvotes
Ottawa
Have you both attended prenatal classes?
Does your wife have a birth plan?
Have you visited the delivering hospital and registered?
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 13, 2017
22 posts
2 upvotes
GaryI626 wrote:
Jan 21st, 2017 12:29 pm
Didn't OP get a book, I'm just worry that he / she seems a bit clueless...
Yes a bit clueless ... I am not aware of any book I am supposed to get from the government.

We just got the news from the doctor who's referring us to obgyn
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 13, 2017
22 posts
2 upvotes
vkizzle wrote:
Jan 21st, 2017 12:02 pm
Have you both attended prenatal classes?
Does your wife have a birth plan?
Have you visited the delivering hospital and registered?
We just got the news from the doctor and being referred to obgyn, so I assume the hospital part will come with the obgyn

what do you mean by birth plan?
Toronto seem to only have some prenatal online courses that we've gone through already.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
15786 posts
4688 upvotes
Ottawa
Gibbscr wrote:
Jan 21st, 2017 6:52 pm
We just got the news from the doctor and being referred to obgyn, so I assume the hospital part will come with the obgyn

what do you mean by birth plan?
Toronto seem to only have some prenatal online courses that we've gone through already.
Ah, still in the early stage.

https://www.peelregion.ca/health/family ... h-plan.htm
Sr. Member
Sep 3, 2013
660 posts
109 upvotes
Toronto
vkizzle wrote:
Jan 21st, 2017 12:02 pm
Have you both attended prenatal classes?
Does your wife have a birth plan?
Have you visited the delivering hospital and registered?
1. You can't attend prenatal classes until you're at least 32 weeks. OP is far from that but yes can register unless they prefer online which they already did.
2. Birth plan will come later. They had just been referred to an Obgyn.
3. What the... ?!

OP, don't get overwhelmed. Everything will fall into place as soon as you meet your obgyn. I'm 29 weeks pregnant myself; congrats btw. Be sure to know that you also have the option to go with a midwife. I wanted one but still on a waitlist for those who can birth at sunnybrook and north York. See which hospital your doctor has privileges at, that's where you will likely give birth.

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